Nova Scotia

Proper escort policy not followed, finds review of prisoner escape

A prisoner who freed himself from his leg irons was never searched before escaping from the jail in Dartmouth, a review has found.

A prisoner who freed himself from his leg irons was never searched before escaping from the jail in Dartmouth, a review has found.

In fact, neither corrections managers nor staff at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility followed proper escort policy, the internal review concluded.

"I consider this a serious matter," Nova Scotia Justice Minister Cecil Clarke said Tuesday. "This review underscores the need for a full and comprehensive external audit of all policies and procedures."

Jermaine Carvery, 30, escaped April 3 while out on a medical appointment in Halifax. He got out of his leg irons, jumped out the back of a corrections van and ran away from two part-time guards.

Carvery, accused of being the ringleader in several high-profile armed robberies, has not been caught.

The review found Carvery had not been physically searched before leaving for his appointment, as per policy, nor were managers at the jail aware that he had escaped from a Toronto jail 10 years earlier.

The report also concluded that the "physical stature" of the guards escorting Carvery played a part in how he managed to outrun them.

Clarke has accepted all 12 recommendations, including a review of fitness level requirements for staff who conduct escorts, and that physical searches be completed and documented.

The external audit of corrections policies and procedures is expected to take three months.

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